While we pour over the WikiLeaks cable revelations and see the debt contagion in the EU now threatening to infect even Germany, there is a growing worldwide internet campaign aimed at the 7th Dec 2010 that may well turn this storm into a tempest.
It's not just that Irish Parliament is due to vote on their austerity budget that day with a coalition government majority of just two and one of the coalition parties, the Green Party, saying they will then leave the coalition forcing an election.
No, it's the threatened bank run.
The French, backed by the ex-Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona, somehow came up with the idea that the way to strike back at the 'system' and make your voice heard was simply for everyone to remove their money from the banks on one single day, the 7th December.
This has quickly spread virally over the internet despite not being given air time or space on most standard media outlets. There's even a website for it (bankrun2010.com).
As of Friday there were people from over 20 countries** involved on Facebook alone (thanks radiofreepenzance for the information).
This is not an isolated campaign though. Over in the US there is the 'Move Your Money' campaign. People are being asked to move their money from the 'too big to fail' banks and put it in "local banks and credit unions that promote community wealth".
Then the internet finance guru Max Keiser waded into the mix with his 'buy silver crash JP Morgan' campaign, which he has asked people to couple with the bank run on 7th Dec. That is, take your money out of the banks and buy sulver. A real broadside to the banks.
Now, most people going about their daily lives, including bankers, may well dismiss all this as the work of some fringe nut jobs. But a quick trawl of the internet will show that there are a lot, I mean a hell of a lot, of 'nut-jobs' out there planning to do just what is asked.
Now, with the way that fractional reserve banking works, it only takes a fraction of the people who have money in the bank to turn up and ask for it in cash to cause the bank huge problems (remember the pictures and videos of Northern Rock branches?) if not forging them under. I would suspect that the banks are making sure that those branches they think may be the target of this campaign will have lots of cash available. But that will mean other branches possibly in other countries will be short. Don't think this will be somehow isolated because, as we have found out all banks, especially the large ones, are basically joined at the hip.
Now, if one bank runs into trouble other banks may be forced to lend to it (will they?) or central banks will again have to move in. That will really spook people.
With banks and currencies looking shaky many people are turning to precious metals like gold and silver to protect their wealth. I wonder how many people have had calls from their financial advisers warning them that they may want to investigate this option. Especially if they are very risk averse. Not many I would wager, as there's generally no commission in it.
It would not be pleasant to wake up on the 7th Dec with Christmas looming to see the banking system collapsing with your money in it. But I suppose everyone assumes the government (taxpayer now and future) will pick up the tab and guarantee it as usual. But can they now afford to?
Maybe some people, purely out of caution, will remove their money for a few days from the Friday beforehand just to be on the safe side exacerbating the situation.
No-one knows until the 8th Dec how this will pan out. It could very well just be a damp squib. Or …… .
I'll leave you with the video that shows some of the feeling that is running through this bank run campaign.
**List of Facebook sites